Articles Posted in Nursing Home Attorneys

covid-19 in geneva nursing homes

Coronavirus Cases Consume Bria of Geneva Nursing Home Marking One of Largest Outbreaks in Illinois

Located in the western suburbs of Chicago, Bria of Geneva nursing home is swiftly picking up cases of COVID-19. So far, two dozen residents are dead, and the novel coronavirus has infected at least 75 in just a few short weeks. Bria of Geneva only has 91 residents and the first resident tested positive on April 17. Thirty-seven of the Kane County home’s 120 workers have also tested positive for the virus.

Like many Illinois nursing homes, up until a few weeks ago, administrators were simply screening residents for symptoms and taking some infectious disease measures such as limiting visitors and isolating symptomatic residents. A request for extensive and broad testing, increasing the use of personal protection equipment, and accurate reporting of cases were still failed coronavirus-related prevention measures. At best, an understaffed workforce was attempting to contain the virus by transferring sick residents to a coronavirus-designated wing at another home.

Levin & Perconti, Nationally Recognized Leaders in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Law, Launches Investigation into Illinois Nursing Homes Amid COVID-19
Nursing home residents still have the right to proper care and providers should always be held accountable when that care goes badly wrong. It’s no different during these difficult times surrounding COVID-19.

The attorneys at Levin & Perconti have launched over 100 investigations into a number of assisted living, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities that have failed to uphold adequate safeguards and care in response to the COVID-19 outbreak for residents in Cook and surrounding counties in Illinois. We are seeking anyone who has information about the outbreak of COVID-19 at these facilities to contact us.

If you or your loved one has been impacted by COVID in a nursing home, please contact us for a free consultation on whether you have a legal case against the nursing home.

Nursing Homes Must Report COVID-19 Sicknesses and Deaths

COVID-19 has an alarming infection rate across the U.S., now totaling more than 672,000 confirmed cases, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Many of the individuals at most risk of a COVID-19 infection in Illinois reside at one of the state’s 1,200 long-term care facilities, responsible for the care of more than 100,000 individuals. Several advocates for quality long-term care are now raising questions about how accurate the reporting of COVID-19 cases among Illinois residents truly is and how that may be causing a delay in preventing the spread of the disease.

Levin & Perconti partner and attorney Steven Levin spoke to Chicago ABC7 about the role of inaccuracies in reporting COVID-19 cases in the state, saying, “I believe that reported cases are the tip of the iceberg. I believe we are going to find a scary situation once independent observers can go into the nursing homes to see what’s happened.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says as many as 305 long-term health care facilities have felt the impact of the highly contagious virus, with many nursing homes experiencing wide-spread community transmission. While there is no publicly available list of Illinois facilities battling coronavirus infections, on Wednesday, April 15, the state reported 1,587 cases associated with long-term facilities and 296 related deaths, including residents and staff.

Steve Levin

A message from Attorney Steven Levin

During these difficult times it is important for patients and their families to understand that residents in nursing homes still have the right to expect proper care.

Direct communication with facility staff, including the director of nursing and administration is key.  Find out what the staff is doing to prevent and control COVID-19.  Here are some things staff should be doing:

wash your hands to prevent covid-19

On April 2, 2020, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provided updated guidance for nursing homes, after the agency’s first round of coronavirus-related facility surveys conducted the week of March 30. Even with the raised alarm of COVID-19’s known risk, 36% of U.S. long-term care facilities reviewed had staff who did not follow proper handwashing protocols.

Hand hygiene for infection prevention is an essential part of the U.S. response to the emergence of COVID-19. Nursing home staff should also adhere to Standard and Transmission-based Precautions when caring for patients with a coronavirus-related infection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers “with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings, based upon greater access to hand sanitizer.”

The updated guidance also formalized actions related to screening all visitors for symptoms, ensuring buildings are actively complying with existing CMS and CDC protocols and using personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with residents whenever possible. The CDC provides the recommended PPE described in this Infection Control Guidance.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus impacting the nearly 1.4 million patients residing in nursing homes and rehab facilities across the U.S. These individuals include the elderly and severely disabled people who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Coronavirus can lead to a respiratory illness with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. In a growing number of cases, it can be more severe than the flu, and dying from the virus is much more likely for older and health-compromised people.

There is a select group carrying characteristics that put them at higher risk of illness and death related to an infectious disease due to cognitive limitations, which impair their ability to respond to an emergency. This group includes those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Unfortunately, dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is already “one of the only top-10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. A growing majority of these individuals depend on care provided by others to manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and to keep them in safe environments and reside in nursing homes.

The coronavirus epidemic is pausing inspections conducted by State Survey Agencies (SSAs). The most recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance related to nursing homes and coronavirus includes a pull-back of regular CMS inspections. The federal agency said it would only conduct revisits when Immediate Jeopardy (IJ) is cited.

CMS defines IJ as: “… a situation in which entity noncompliance has placed the health and safety of recipients in its care at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death. These situations must be accurately identified by surveyors, thoroughly investigated, and resolved by the entity as quickly as possible. In addition, noncompliance cited at IJ is the most serious deficiency type, and carries the most serious sanctions for providers, suppliers, or laboratories (entities). An immediate jeopardy situation is one that is clearly identifiable due to the severity of its harm or likelihood for serious harm and the immediate need for it to be corrected to avoid further or future serious harm.”

Steven Levin Speaks with Chicago’s ABC7 About Coronavirus and Understaffed Nursing Homes
As of March 19, public health officials in Illinois have recognized four long-term care facilities in the Chicago area reporting COVID-19 cases. This includes a possible coronavirus outbreak inside a nursing home in west suburban Willowbrook involving 46 people, including 33 residents and 13 staff.


As public health officials wait on additional test results to come back related to Willowbrook, two residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Evanston at Three Crowns Park, there is one confirmed case at Admiral at the Lake facility in Chicago’s Edgewater, and a staff member at the Church Creek Senior Living Center in Arlington Heights is also infected. Nursing home advocates and family members of residents are only left to wonder how the viral spread might make its way into other facilities around the state.

Levin & Perconti founder and attorney Steven Levin joined ABC7 to talk about how an already understaffed long-term care system continues to weaken the care of our most vulnerable citizens due to COVID-19.

Steve Levin

A message from Attorney Steven Levin

Nursing home residents are at the center of a perfect storm: starkly vulnerable to the novel coronavirus, which has proven particularly deadly to the elderly, and cut off from those who can most effectively speak up to protect them.

As experienced advocates for patients in long term care and their families, our firm is ready to help you ensure that your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

coronavirus in nursing homes

Concern for Coronavirus Spread is Now a Sobering Reality for Illinois Nursing Homes

On Tuesday, March 15, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the first death from the new coronavirus in Illinois. The woman had close contact with another person infected with the virus. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said she did have an underlying health condition but was not a resident of a nursing home facility. Although a total of 160 cases of COVID-19 have now been tracked in the state, including 22 cases at Willowbrook nursing home in DuPage County impacting 18 residents and four employees. Chicago’s WGN9 reported the first resident’s confirmed test over the weekend by state health officials. The resident is now in critical condition. The virus has since moved quickly to others at the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located in the 7000 block of South Madison Street in Willowbrook.

Fast-Changing Information About Coronavirus in Illinois (March 17, 2020)

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